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Cast caution to the wind
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Wind has to be one of my least favorite conditions to fish in.

It’s the one environmental factor that often eliminates over half of my tackle box before I even get on the water.

Casting and boat positioning seem to be the two greatest challenges when trying to fish in the wind. With the wind to my back I can cast just fine. The strength of the wind often creates major problems if approached head on with lighter baits. Adding a little weight to your bait or selecting more streamline baits can be a solution.

Personally, I would rather seek out areas protected from the wind instead of fighting it, unless of course the bite is wide open.

When there is no getting out of the wind I choose to fish with reaction baits that are easy to cast such as rattle traps, heavy crank baits or swim baits. Boat positioning can be tricky as well. I try to fish with the nose of the boat facing into the wind while trying to avoid getting too close to the bank.

A nice wave combined with a gust of wind can do quite a bit of damage to a fiberglass hull. Fishing in the wind can be both a physical and mentally challenging.

Most importantly, if you’re on a large body of water I’d think twice before going out during windy conditions. Lakes like Clear Lake, San Luis Reservoir and certain parts of the Delta are extremely dangerous to cross once the wind has picked up.

If you do decide on going out while it’s windy, stay close to your launch site and avoid crossing the wider sections of water you’re fishing.

Delta Report

The bite is very tough for largemouth bass. Historically, this is the calm before the storm as a string of warm days, combined with a full moon can turn the bite wide open.

It’s important to slow way down while using black and blue jigs down to 12 feet deep. Current water temperatures around the Stockton area are in the high 40s to low 50s.

A favorite bait of mine this time of year is a red spinner baits or chatter baits. I usually don’t get a lot of bites but the ones that I get are larger in size.

New Melones Lake

Melanie Lewis of Glory Hole Sports reports:

“The trout are right up in the shallows, spawning. We finally got a little winter weather. Whenever it rains the creeks and drainage ditches will wash nutrients, crawlers, and other terrestrial insects into the water. These are great places to target fish. Bank anglers have been using Power bait (the scented kinds are working great), marshmallows, and night crawlers to catch them.”

Bass fishing is pretty good for those fishing with Alabama Rigs or smaller individual swim baits. As the weather picks up look for the bass fishing to pick up.

Lake Don Pedro

Bass fishing is picking up for a lot of anglers fishing with either large swim baits or Alabama Rigs. Limits of king salmon are not uncommon, as anglers are doing well while trolling rolled shad on shad patterned spoons.

The hot area is in the Moccasin Recreational Area from the no ski buoys to the power lines from the surface down to 25 feet deep for trout and around Rough and Ready Island at 50 feet deep for salmon.

Lake Pardee

One of my favorite lakes opens this Friday for fishing.

Three years ago at this exact same time, a then new lake record Smallmouth was caught by Nick Welton weighing 8.70 pounds on a crankbait. Aside from the excellent trout fishing this lake has to offer, there is a largemouth and smallmouth bass population that is often overlooked by a lot of anglers.

Crankbaits and jigs are working well for those fishing for bass and trout are being caught up near the surface in the mornings and 15 to 20 feet deep during the daytime.

Product Review

Robo Worm has been a favorite plastic bait of mine for some time. The main reason for my love for these plastic baits is their unique color schemes and plastic composition. Unknown to a lot of anglers is Robo Worms salt release system.

Their products are designed to release salt through time. A favorite color of mine as well as a lot of local anglers is the Margarita Mutilator. Only by holding one up to the light can you see the precision and attention to detail put into making a Robo Worm product.

There are a lot of different brands to choose from when dealing with soft plastics but when the fishing gets tough it’s hard to beat a Robo Worm.


To contact Jarod Ballardo, email